TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham strongly condemned the Israeli regime’s attempts to destroy and defragment Muslims’ Al-Aqsa Mosque in a bid to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem), and urged the international community to take firm action to prevent the trend.
“Unfortunately, the regime’s aggressive actions and destruction of the holy places of the divine religions continue,” Afkham said in her weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
“We condemn such acts and have voiced our strong protest (against these actions) to the international circles, and we hope that some measures will be adopted by the international circles and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prevent this trend,” she added.
The Iranian foreign ministry’s reaction came after a report, leaked by the Al Aqsa Foundation, revealed that the Israeli authorities have a plan to divide the Al Aqsa mosque compound.
The report showed the Israeli Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs plans to build a new Synagogue in the Eastern Wing of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
The plan would divide the compound taking one fifth for the Jews in order for them to perform their religious rituals there.
Top Hamas officials have spoken out against the move and have called for a large-scale intervention from the Arab States. Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said that the old city is part of East Jerusalem and remains under illegal occupation by the Israelis, and that the Israelis are using the turmoil in the Arab world to sneak their plans for the Al Aqsa compound.
Other Palestinian politicians have also slammed the new plans stating that this is part of Tel Aviv’s aggressive steps that confirm their designs on the Islamic sanctuary in their first steps towards demolishing al Aqsa and deleting Muslim history in the area.
The Israeli Press responded to the report, with one publishing and celebrating Tel Aviv’s new plans for the synagogue and stating that this has been practically urged by the US State department.
On Saturday, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh condemned Israel’s efforts to judaize al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque. In a televised speech yesterday, Haniyeh also slammed Israel’s expansionist policies and the regime’s crimes against the Palestinian nation, saying the liberation of Palestine is a national duty.
He called on all Palestinians to act against the expansionist measures of the Tel-Aviv regime across the occupied territories, particularly in al-Quds.
Haniyeh also asked Palestinians to protect the city’s mosques, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque, against Tel Aviv regime’s excavation plans.
The situation at the al-Aqsa, which is one of Islam’s holiest sites, has been tense over the past week.
Over the past decades, Israel has tried to change demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967, and annexed East al-Quds, where the holy al-Aqsa Mosque is located, a move not recognized by the international community.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds. The international community considers the settlements illegal.
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